Are You Ready for GDPR?

We’ve all had it happen at one time or another (likely more than once). That unsolicited and unwanted email. Although most unwanted emails come from spammers, they could come from a site you’ve visited. Maybe even subscribed to something, but they take it upon themselves to add to your subscriptions and inundate you with numerous emails.

I’ve had it happen with both my personal and work email. And while most legitimate businesses have an opt-out feature, some do not. I have a blocked sender list a least a mile long, and in cases, I have reported some as spammers.

As authors, many of us rely on our mailing lists to help promote our books. Lots of us send out newsletters. If you’re one of these people, you must be ready for new regulations before May 25, 2018.

So just are these new regulations? General Data Protection Regulation is a new set of guidelines for residents of the European Union. Anyone living outside the EU still must comply with these regs. That means if you have someone on your mailing list that resides in an EU country, it affects you.

Without going into a lot of legalese, I’ll quote a recent post on the Mailer Lite blog. “At its core, GDPR is about giving people more control over their personal data and how others are allowed to use their data. For email marketing, that means providing more transparency and clearer consent agreements when signing up new subscribers.”

What this means is that you, as an author, must be able to prove how you obtained a subscriber’s email address. Fortunately, subscription services such as Mail Chimp and Mailer Lite provide a double opt-in feature. Anyone who signs up must verify their subscription before they begin to receive emails. Therefore, most of us should be okay.

However, maybe you went to a book signing, collected a list of subscribers, and added them to your mailing list. Or you’ve done a free giveaway through places like Instafreebie where people are automatically subscribed if they download your book.

These new subscribers didn’t have the opportunity to confirm their subscription. It’s up to you to confirm they still want to be included.

Although this sounds like a lot of work (along with something else to worry about), it’s not. Confirming or reconfirming your subscribers can be a good thing. We all have people who sign up and never open an email. Using a service such as Mailer Lite costs money based on the number of subscribers.

By eliminating those who won’t reconfirm, you can delete them from your list and save money. Better to have three hundred active subscribers who support and help promote your work than a thousand deadbeats.

Mailer Lite has created a template that authors and businesses can use to reconfirm their subscribers. So, it’s as easy as creating a short email, explaining the reasons for such, and allow readers to verify they want to remain on your list. Mailer Lite recommends sending this only to those subscribers for whom you don’t have proof of their consent.

For a link to the entire article, click here. However, I recommend checking with your email service provider for specifics on how to reconfirm your subscribers.

26 thoughts on “Are You Ready for GDPR?

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  3. This is good information to be aware of, Joan. I’d heard about a lot of changes put forth by the EU (Facebook is scrambling to adapt) but hadn’t thought about my personal mailing list. It’s not that large but my the bulk of my users did sign up (a few came through a giveaway). I do think it’s good practice and hope the U.S. will follow the EU’s lead. It’s ridiculous how companies subscribe users to lists simply because they might have ordered something in the past. It’s gotten so bad there are even “unsubscribe” apps now.

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